Strength Weakness

Using the 4D’s of Time Management can help you become more productive.

But, there is a cost. While you may be respected for your time management skills you may not be very well liked.

Be aware of this when you apply The 4D’s to your business and personal time management efforts.

What are the 4D’s of Time Management?

They are, in the order of use:

  • Dump
  • Delay
  • Delegate
  • Do

The 4D’s in the Real World

I had a manager many years ago that followed the 4D’s religiously. It was both annoying and infuriating. Because his first instinct was to apply the First D which included ignoring the request, task, comment or whatever it was. His passive / aggressive “ignore” caused a lot of consternation (and eventually his job).

Because he was so fixated to his 4D mode of thinking it became amusing … and we started having fun with it. Perhaps that’s another post.

Why Do I Mention The 4D’s?

I mention these because when used in a more professional manner they can be helpful when deciding where to spend your time. Just use them in a respectful manner. Sometimes you might need to explain or remind people how you determine which tasks you take on.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
~ Peter Drucker

When Should You Use The 4D’s

They are actually a very effective tool for managing your time. You can use other models of time management, including David Allen’s GTD and Stephanie Winston’s TRAF, in addition to using The 4D’s. Use what works for you. There is no set model that works in every situation.

As noted above, use a model that works for you. Help people know how you manage your time by telling them how you prefer to use your time most effectively. When you do you will stand out in your career. When you help others to help you there is a combined effect where everyone can become more effective.

Putting The 4D’s to Use

I’m not an advocate for taking on too many projects or for not handing things off when it makes sense. However, I am an advocate for getting things done.

The secret to getting things done is to act
~ Dante Alighieri

Sometimes you just have to take on the 4th D and get things done.

The world would be a better place if people spent a little more time doing and a little less time looking for excuses by hiding behind the first 3 D’s.

In the end what you dump will be a reflection on your career. Choose Wisely!